Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is Kevin Bacon in your MSN contact list?*

I thought this story was interesting in some ways, although I'm not sure I end up believing the results of the study. I use Live Messenger but I only talk to a total of three people on it. I use other chat programs and web-based chat/messaging features more than MSN, so I'm not sure I would factor into the 6.6 degrees using only that program. Using other sources, maybe I would. Granted, out of the three people on Live Messenger who I talk to, one knows both of the other two, so maybe there is something to it. I do keep running into people online who know other people with whom I chat, but I think that's probably just the nature of the sites I'm on and not necessarily the nature of the internets. If I had to use Live Messenger to get a message to someone in another country I doubt the message would make it very far. I'm also not sure of the premise that sending a person a single instant message constitutes "knowing" that person. If that's the case, I "know" all kinds of people who send me single messages asking me to look at their web site to see hot chicks in action, etc.

*Reference to the movie Six Degrees of Separation with Kevin Bacon

1 comment:

Chris said...

Live Messenger actually is the biggest social network in the world. You know, I was just writing a blog post about the very same thing for the Windows Live Community as I have been doing for other things as well.

I think you're looking at it a little skewed perhaps. If you sent the message to the three people on your Live Messenger, I know that I am one of the receivers. I have oh...100 odd listings in my Messenger so I forward that message on to those 100 people, who forward it on to every contact in their Messenger. As you can see it begins to multiply very rapidly even if you only had three contacts of your own.

Oddly, for some reason, people don't make the connection between their instant messenger (whichever one it may be) and their social network. I made this connection right away when MySpace began to be so popular, my thought was why would I want to re-create my network that already exists within my Messenger? This is what Microsoft is capitalising on with Windows Live services (Live Spaces etc.) However, Microsoft still suffers from a lack of "cool" factor for most people to adopt because they're not perceived as cool or as hip as say Facebook, even though the social network within the Microsoft format already exists for most people.